This month we're catching up with polish pin up beauty Retrofem, who's recently modelled our Oyster satin soft bra, Y strap suspender belt and classic hipster Knicker. She has some wonderful tips and sources of inspiration for aspiring pin up models!
You’re based in Poland. What’s the pin up modelling scene like there?
I think it is quite average but not the worst! We have few pin-up models that have managed to achieve something on a global scale (for example Rockagirl or my friend Vilmarouge that is also from Szczecin), we have few great polish retro clothing brands like “Natabo”, “Vintage Classics”, “Lolipopshop” or “Maggie The Cat”, some groups for Polish retro enthusiasts. From time to time, there is a trade fair called "Kogel mogel" (quite popular among our retro freaks), small events, workshops, lectures etc. Not so long ago a large event "Pin up & Burlesque party" took place at our country every year that retro fans from all over Poland were visiting, unfortunately the organizers resigned from organizing the event anymore. Such a pity!
You have a very feminine pin-up look, who are you influenced by?
Thank you, I try my best! To be honest with you, I don’t have one idol that I admire with all of my heart. On a daily basis my style is inspired by many women: Dita von Teese (let's be honest, who isn’t?), old Hollywood movie stars but most of all my favorite instagram models and bloggers: Bryona Ashly, Vintage Vandalism, Tara MiSioux, Ginger Collins, Le Petite Lala, Ally Vintage, Pin up Palmer, Doris Mayday, Miss Victory Violet, Idda Von Munster, Madison Steward, Miss Vintage Lady, Lira Kirina, Feminist Fatale and many, many more! . These are the girls I look up to the most and want to be as flawless as them one day .
You do you own hair and make up, like our original model Rockagirl, who is also Polish. Is it popular in Poland for models to be so skilled at their own hair and make-up?
A few times the make up artists did my make up for the photoshoot but to be honest I was not fully happy with the effects. It just brings me so much joy to get ready for my photo sessions and creating my image. I have full control over how I will look on a given day and that’s what I personally like the most. Even if my hair does not look perfect (I’m usually rather satisfied with the make up I do) by looking at the photos later I’m able to see what went wrong and next time I can try to improve those errors. I’m getting skills that I would not get if I relied on someone else. It also makes my everyday retro lifestyle easier when I’m going out craving to look my best and I don’t need to depend on anyone.
Doing your own make up, curling your hair, styling it, arranging your outfit and accessories is completely different than just standing in front of the lens and looking pretty. It’s kind of an art that takes much more time but is extremely satisfying. In Poland our pin-up models very often prepare themselves for the photoshoots, apparently we all love this ritual of creating the new us!
For anyone just starting to experiment with pin up style and modelling, have you got any tips?
First of all remember that practice makes perfect. Don’t feel discouraged if you can’t style your hair the way you saw in photos or have a problem with doing the perfect cat eye. Try to pose in front of a mirror, see which angles are the most flattering for your body and your face. Look at the old photographs, old pin-up illustrations and photos of your favourite models in search of inspiration. Maybe one of your friends is interested in photography? Talk to her/him and do your first photoshoot with them! You’ll feel comfortable (as first shoots could be a little stressful, especially if you don’t really know how to pose) and you’ll look much prettier and natural on the photos. Have fun at each shoot and try to feel at ease! Don’t meet with people whose photos you don’t like just because they wrote to you and want to do it for free. In 80% of cases you’ll not be satisfied with the results and will regret that you wasted your time. There are a lot of quite skilled beginner photographers that would like to work with you- you just have to look around. You can easily find them at facebook groups for example.
Before investing in you new retro closet remember to specify what you like and what you don’t in vintage style, which cuts looks good on you and what accessories you feel comfortable wearing. Not everything is for everyone. This way you’ll avoid spending money on clothes and things that you only bought because they look vintage but after trying them on you’ll be sad it doesn’t look as good as you wanted them to or you’ll be embarrassed to go out wearing it because it’s too flashy.
And still above all of this: Have fun, be yourself and do whatever you want. You’re gorgeous!
What’s your favourite piece of Pip & Pantalaimon lingerie?
I think my absolutely favourite piece is a Beating Heat Corselette set! It is so unique and sexy. However I also fell in love with the Nude lace set. Ugh, hard decision!
Model & HMUA; Retrofem
Photographer; Piszę światłem